Australia and New Zealand Event News – January 2019


New convention centre for Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast’s Novotel Twin Waters Resort will develop a new $8 million purpose-built convention centre. AccorHotels has been confirmed as the preferred operator of the centre which will open in April 2019. The facility will be connected to the existing Wandiny Pavillion, bringing the total capacity to 3400.


Howard Smith Wharves to welcome first hotel next year

AccorHotels will open its eighth Art Series property at the Howard Smith Wharves in March 2019. Carved into the cliff face under the iconic Story Bridge, the Fantauzzo luxury hotel will feature 166 guest rooms, four food and beverage outlets, three conference options and a rooftop pool.


voco Gold Coast opens

The world’s first voco branded hotel has officially opened on the Gold Coast, just five months after its global launch. The upscale property, in collaboration between IHG and SB&G Group, offers 389 rooms at the heart of Surfers Paradise in addition to an 800sqm meeting space, day spa and dual swimming pools. Guests can also take their choice of three vibrant dining options or take in expansive views of the ocean and Gold Coast hinterland from the hotel.


Tourism Australia 2019 events planned for Perth

Western Australia will host three major Tourism Australia events in 2019. These are the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE19) from 8 to 12 April at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Corroboree West from 8 to 11 October and finally the Dreamtime in December.


Santai resort acquired by Oaks

Oaks Hotels and Resorts has purchased the former Santai Retreat in Casuarina, on the NSW North Coast. The Balinese-styled property is made up of 100 individual studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments and will be rebranded to the Oaks Santai Resort Casuarina. Other facilities include an onsite restaurant, a wellness spa and private lounge. The resort also provides two event spaces as well as a meeting room and break out spaces for MICE visitors.


New look for Holiday Inn Melbourne’s event spaces

Holiday Inn Melbourne has completed the multimillion-dollar redesign of its event spaces to complement the property’s existing aesthetic features. The hotel owner enlisted architects Wilson & Hill of New Zealand, to reinvent each individual space with the floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing more natural light and providing views of the city or the hotel pool. The spaces are built to embody the joy of business travel and assist their guests in making meaningful connections.


AccorHotels announces new international brand for Malvern

AccorHotels, in collaboration with Dalmeera Group, opened a new apartment-style hotel in Melbourne’s south-east in November 2018. The Sebel Melbourne Malvern offers guests the choice of one, two- and three-bedroom suites, complete with kitchen and laundry facilities across 17 floors. The inner-city suburb is currently experiencing a revival of ultra-modern developments near the Melbourne CBD.


New MICE venue at Melbourne Showgrounds

A brand-new event and exhibition space is slated to open in August 2019 at the Melbourne Showgrounds. At a cost of $8.5 million, the pillar-less, 2500-square-metre room will connect to a new 600-square-metre glass foyer, with the capacity for up to 1800 people. The venue is expected to open opportunities for local, national and international event managers hosting a range of events all year round.


TFE plans for first Adelaide hotel

TFE Hotels plans to open a flagship glass-fronted hotel in Adelaide offering travellers and guests an unparalleled view across the entire city. The 118 room Vibe Adelaide hotel will be conveniently located near the convention centre, Rundle Mall and Adelaide Casino and is due to open in 2020. Other facilities include a spa, sauna, restaurant and rooftop lap swimming pool connected to the adjoining ONE Apartments Complex.


MCEC wins Corporate Citizenship Award

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has taken out the Best Corporate Citizenship Award at the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia’s (EEAA) annual Awards in December. The award was bestowed for its part in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, which invested in a regional wind farm that was able to generate enough renewable energy to power the venue. While the centre undertook a 25% expansion in 2018, it was able to offset the electricity of the project through the initiative.


AccorHotels acquires sbe stake

North American-based hotel chain sbe Entertainment Group is now 50% owned by AccorHotels in a recently announced deal. The partnership will allow AccorHotels to expand its luxury lifestyle offering across multiple cities in North America. Through this is also expected that the sbe portfolio will grow to over 50 hotels by 2020.


Ibis Sydney World reopens with new look

The $4 million refurbishment of the ibis Sydney World is now complete, featuring new looks for the property’s 166 guestrooms. Guests can enjoy the property’s heritage-listed iBistro or the ground-level iBar which, in addition to the lobby, have also been redesigned. Other features available at ibis Sydney World Square include a 24-hour gym and business centre.


New Zealand

Iconic Christchurch venue to reopen next year

Christchurch’s Town Hall is gearing up for a re-opening in March 2019, eight years after it was forced to close due to the earthquake. The property offers a range of venues including a 2250 auditorium and 1000-pax theatre that has already been booked out until next August.


Third QT Hotel for Auckland in 2020

Following the hugely successful openings of the QT Wellington and QT Queenstown, Event Hospitality will open its third hotel under the brand in 2020. The QT Auckland will be located in the developing Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter precincts with a focus on food and beverage innovation and enhancing the waterfront.


Pullman Auckland picks up industry awards

Residences By Pullman have won both New Zealand Leading Hotel Residence by World Travel Awards and Luxury Apartments of the Year Auckland, New Zealand by Luxury Travel Guide.



New convention centre for Wellington

Wellington City Council has approved the construction of a new 18,000 sqm convention and exhibition centre to begin in 2019. The venue will feature 10,000 sqm of dedicated convention space across its top two floors and a 1,650 sqm ground-floor exhibition gallery to accommodate touring exhibitions. The plan also allows the city’s Opera House and Michael Fowler Centre to focus primarily non-hosting performance events while increasing the number of live events and shows being staged locally.


Accor wins at luxury hotel awards

AccorHotels has taken home several awards at the prestigious 2018 World Luxury Hotel Awards in Bali last month. Queenstown’s Hotel St Moritz was presented with the best Luxury Adventure Destination award while the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth was recognised as a Luxury Historical Hotel. Properties in French Polynesia, Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach and Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island were awarded Luxury Beach Resort and Luxury Honeymoon Hotel respectively.


Queenstown to host 2019 CINZ conference

As its reputation grows as a premier business events destination, Queenstown has also been announced as the location of the next Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Conference. Over 180 delegates from the meetings and events industry will converge on the city from 29 October to 31 October 2019.


Dunedin wins leisure conference

The University of Otago will host the 2022 World Leisure Congress after it successfully won a joint bid with Enterprise Dunedin for the biennial event. The event is the largest leisure academic conference in the world and aims to shine a light on the availability of leisure activities that can be integral to human wellbeing. It will bring 500-1000 delegates to the city, generating in an expected $1.7 million contribution for the local economy.